Establishment: Ban Khun Mae
Location: Ban Khun Mae Restaurant 458/6-9 Siam Square Soi 8, Rama 1 Road, Patumwan District, Bangkok, Thailand
Editor’s note: Dining with kids in Bangkok but also hankering for authentic Thai food? Try Ban Khun Mae in Siam Square, suggests Ling Tan. Dishes are authentic, yet pleasing enough for the kids.
It is not they we are not adventurous diners, our family. Just sometimes, it’s comforting to eat in a restaurant you know well. Ban Khun Mae is one of my husband’s fave in Bangkok, a city he visits fairly regularly for work. It was introduced to him by his local partners some years back, and on a recent weekend trip to BKK (my first after a decade!!), we dined there not once but twice – yes, it was good, comforting Thai food. Plus, the staff were also more effective at managing peak hour queues than their counterpart at other eateries in the Siam area.
Amongst the dishes we tried – and we had many – a standout was the Steamed Seafood Curry Paste filled in a coconut. It’s like a rich seafood broth, slightly milky, mildly spicy, with generous bits of prawns, crabs and fish. The coconut flesh, all soft and flavourful after the cooking, is definitely worth the calories.
A fave with the kids was the Pandan leaf Chicken, deep fried parcels of juicy, flavourful goodness. My 10yo, not a fan of Thai food, loved this creation.
The green curry got the thumb up from the kids too. It was kinda spicy, and the boys loved the gravy on the white rice – never mind the multiple sips of water they took between each bite. We had green curry prawns on Sat and green curry chicken on Sun – the prawns were more popular with the family.
Both the steamed white snapper with lime and the baked black pepper crab with glass noodles were fab – the fish was fresh and the spicy lime sauce was my choice for accompanying the white rice.
For dessert, you can’t go wrong with sliced mangoes with steamed glutinous rice. We really wanted to try the boiled banana with coconut milk sauce, but those were already sold out on both days when we were there for lunch at 1.30pm.
We had other classic Thai dishes – Baked Pineapple rice, Pad Thai, young papaya salad, grilled pork with honey, a stir fried vegetable, a young papaya salad… All were good, just not as memorable. But what certainly sticks to my mind was how fast my boys finished their food – dining with kids in Bangkok, for me, does not get easier than that!
For drinks, try the Iced Roselle juice – very refreshing, especially after shopping in the area.
All these food, over two lunches. We need a few more gym sessions after the weekend of binge eating.
The total bill per meal was no more than 1,800baht, or about $70. It’s not cheap by Bangkok standard, but the quality of ingredients speaks for themselves. Ban Khun Mae also offers more affordable set meals, if you’d prefer not to browse through the extensive ala carte menu (which we did).
I haven’t seen it for myself, but the hubby had – in the evenings, musicians perform live, offering up traditional Thai music. While we were there on both afternoon, there were cosy family luncheons, and also large groups of friends gather around long tables, the occasional couple too.
Editor’s note: Do you have a fave in Bangkok to recommend? Share with us in the comments below – or drop us a review! We’d love to hear from you too
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